Video and social media marketing trends

Video and social media marketing trends

Video and social media marketing trends

Using video on social media is the key to maximising current marketing trends.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much is a video worth?

According to Dr. James McQuivey it’s calculated at 1.8 million words

Marketing trends show that using video is now a crucial factor for businesses in engaging target audiences.

If you are not using short videos on social media to attract, inform, engage, and win customers then you are missing out on a major marketing opportunity.

How valuable are videos for businesses?

Here are five key stats:

1. 9% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI

2. Shoppers who view video are 1.81 times more likely to purchase than non-viewers

3. Using the word “video” in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19%, click-through rates by 65% and reduces unsubscribes by 26%

4. Retailers cite 40% increases in purchases as a result of video

5. Videos played on mobile devices crossed the 50% share in 2015

(Source: Hubspot)

Between April 2015 and November 2015, the amount of average daily video views on Facebook alone doubled from 4 billion video views per day to 8 billion.

The return of silent movies

You’ve probably noticed that when you are on social media the sound doesn’t automatically come on. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram don’t have sound turned on with your auto-play newsfeed videos.

You can tell the story of your business with or without sound. And you need words and graphics to get your message across.

We can help

For the last ten years Luminous Media director Dan Hughes has been producing digital adverts for SMEs and big brands. We can create social media videos to engage your customers, get your message across, tell your story, and sell your products or services.

Call us on 01633 746444 or email hello@luminous.media for more details.

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Why blog? How blogging can help your business

Why blog? How blogging can help your business

Why blog? How blogging can help your business

Why blog? Will it make a difference?

Before we get started on the benefits of blogging for business we need to be clear on one thing. Let’s call it the “Golden Rule”. I will condense it down into seven simple words:

Make sure that you engage the reader

Here’s what Bill Bernbach, one of the great pioneers of modern advertising, had to say on the matter:

“The truth isn’t the truth until people believe you, and they can’t believe you if they don’t know what you’re saying, and they can’t know what you’re saying if they don’t listen to you, and they won’t listen to you if you’re not interesting, and you won’t be interesting unless you say things imaginatively, originally, freshly.”

Blogging for business only works if you have something to say, and you say to people who are listening. You have to know how to engage with readers, not just type words onto a screen.

Having a well written blog is one thing, but will it make a difference? Just how exactly will blogging help your business?

Three key benefits of blogging that will help your business

1. It helps direct traffic to your website

Well written blogs with good content will engage readers. However, adding blogs to your website shows that you website is active.

As this superb article at HubSpot puts it:

“Every time you write a blog post, it’s one more indexed page on your website, which means it is one more opportunity for you to show up in search engines and drive traffic to you website in organic search.”

What’s the best way to get the traffic to your site? Blogs need promoting, and social media is the ideal way to do that. Create content that will inform and engage, and as people start sharing it the traffic will come to your site.

2. It helps convert visitors into leads

Once a visitor arrives at your site via your blog you need to know what to do with them. You must have a clear “Call to Action”.

Once the blog is read what do you want them to do? Sign up for a newsletter? Download a brochure? Do you have an offer for your readers? How will you follow that up?

3. It helps to showcase your expertise

Regular blog posting is a great way of demonstrating your credentials, and making your readers familiar with your knowledge and expertise. This point is well made in the following example:

“Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Robert Cialdini showed that physiotherapists are more successful at persuading patients to comply with exercise programs if they display their medical diploma on an office or consultation room wall than if they don’t. Other research has shown that simply adding trivial charts to advertisements or brain images to scientific papers can make them more believable and persuasive than they otherwise would be.”

One way to ensure that you have regular engaging blog posts is to use a professional blog writer with years of experience.

And for that you can call us on 01633 746444 or email hello@luminous.media
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Social Media is PR for the masses

Social Media is PR for the masses

Social Media is PR for the masses

Not only are the tools to build an online persona, and to gain a following, at the fingertips of everyone in possession of a smartphone, but the platform that it presents has led to the rise of a new breed of digital celebrities with a numerically greater power base than many mainstream print magazines.

This should hardly surprise us. It is, after all, the exploitation of a new, more democratic, medium. A ubiquitous medium, and one in which PR has become a self-concious act that we all participate in.

Reflect for a moment on the impulse that you have to keep on informing an online responsive audience about the minutiae of your life. A blizzard of confetti, each tiny piece capturing our thoughts and actions, from the banal, to the significant, and back to the banal.

With every update, tweet, post, and photo, we are all turning our hand to PR.

In his interview with Sarah Bailey Putnam, the New York Times columnist David Brooks put his finger on two significant ways in which social media has recalibrated our self-perceptions and habits:

There are two ways social media challenges us. The first is, the idea of broadcasting yourself all the time where we create an avatar of ourselves that is the fake person of ourselves. It’s the highlight reel we put on Instagram. That’s an act of propaganda. The fatal line of propaganda is, the only person it persuades is the author of propaganda. As we put fake images on Facebook and Instagram, we come to believe that’s who we are.

Perception, in this case, is a form of reality. The avatar of ourselves is how we wish to seen and perceived, even though we know that we are constructing it. It is not entirely fake, but it is carefully selected for PR purposes. It is there to communicate our core, sometimes wordless, messages to our digital audience. Precisely because we are forging this online persona, we are, at the same time, aware that others are doing exactly the same thing.

To live and breathe in this atmosphere is to willingly collude and participate in a world of artificial perceptions. In some shape or form, these are the rules of the game. The medium demands it. The really foolish thing is to be self-deceived by it, to believe our own propaganda.

Brooks drew out a further way that social media has recast our internal landscape:

The second is the distraction factor. I find it very hard to sit down and read books and read important things because I waste so much time answering e-mail and on Twitter. It’s like candy that’s always there, mental candy, and makes you shallower because you don’t carve out the time to read something that would make you spiritually enriched.

Doubtless this is partly because social media is not only PR for the masses, it is also a long term PR campaign.

The act of digital self-iconography makes constant demands on us precisely because others are, as we want them to be, responsive to each effort we make at re-presenting ourselves. And that takes time, the time that we could give to other things.

When a New York Times columnist complains that he finds it hard to sit down to read books and important things, we should all pause and worry a little about our own habits and practices.

Will any of us ever confess at the end of life, as we ponder our failures and list our regrets, that we didn’t spend enough time on social media?

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Does marketing talk need a refresh?

Does marketing talk need a refresh?

Does marketing talk need a refresh?

Marketing talk needs a refresh

What exactly makes you different?

Here is a sample of what marketing businesses say about themselves and their services.

“Innovative” (Innovative, as in you came up with the iPod sort of innovative? Ah, not that kind of innovative)

“Expert team” (Well, they are not going to say “we’re an agency stuffed full of dummies, amateurs, and mediocre types”)

“Creative” (Another single word, non-description. Who would claim to be anything other than creative?)

“Unique, fresh, original…” (Fresh is fine. No-one is unique or original, we all have influences)

“We help our customers stand out from the competition and gain new business through creative thinking and design” (Hey, hang on a minute, all the other agencies are saying that!)

“Our work is driven by creativity” (Code for: Don’t trust the other guys, they are just in it for the money. And…between us…they just copy ideas)

“We pride ourselves on approaching marketing differently…” (Hang on…just checked…we’ll add you to the growing list of agencies making that claim! We’re all doing it differently)

“We deliver outstanding results on time!” (Bet you serve up some stuff that’s decidedly average, and a tad late on occasion too)

Do any of the words and phrases listed below tip you towards choosing them?

I haven’t made up any of these stock phrases. They were captured in real time, from real life companies.

And I left out the ever present, and particularly jaded adjective, “passionate”.

If you (the customer) are looking for help with your marketing, all that these phrases do is generate copious amounts of verbal fog. They are opaque, vague, an accumulation of characters to skim read and largely ignore.

Sameness doesn’t stand out

If every marketer you come across is an “expert” on social media, or a “guru” who can expand your online presence exponentially, how can you tell which one you should be choosing?

A further thing to notice from the not-made-up-phrases is their disappointing sameness. If an agency is innovative, creative, and different, why do they all sound the same? Not exactly a good start. Not exactly helpful. Not really doing what it claims to do on the tin.

Of course, marketing companies don’t have a monopoly on the use of clichés begging for retirement, as anyone who has encountered the overworked phrases “our customer service makes us different” or “a family run business” knows all too well.

Stale sales rhetoric

All of the not-made-up-phrases listed above are a species of rhetoric, marketing and sales rhetoric, to be precise. Now, I love a good rhetorical flourish as much as the next writer, but rhetoric, far from being a great accoutrement, can easily become empty and meaningless.

It is something of an irony that far too much sales and marketing language simply doesn’t stand out at all. None of this inspires confidence.

If you were a baker you wouldn’t serve stale bread. Why would you serve up stale language?

What makes you different?

Most businesses in this sector wax and wane, oscillating between work that is remarkable, thoughtful, compelling, and energetic, to work that is, in all honesty, middling, passable, and just plain “good”.

It’s time to look again at the language we use about ourselves. But an even better approach would be to showcase the language we put into the mouths of others.

There is a principle that offers a more objective standard.

It is: “Show, don’t tell”.

Don’t tell people that you are creative. Let them look at your work and tell you that it is creative.

Don’t tell people that you are innovative. If you are innovative, they will tell you.

If you really do things differently, others will notice.

Your portfolio makes you blend in or stand out, not what you claim for yourself.

Show, don’t tell.

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Talent isn’t always recognised

Talent isn’t always recognised

Talent isn’t always recognised

Talent isn’t always recognised.

It doesn’t matter how good you are, you can still be overlooked.

We’d all like to believe that our product, service, skills, talent, or creativity, will stand out and get noticed.

We all tend to assume that those with the biggest audiences, on and offline, and the most media attention, got there by the sheer force of their own brilliance.

That isn’t always the case.

Here’s a story to prove the point.

In 2007 the Washington Post carried out an experiment with concert violinist Joshua Bell.

Bell, dressed in jeans, a long sleeve tee shirt, and baseball cap, played for about 45 minutes during the morning rush hour at L’Enfant Plaza Metro station.

During that time 1097 people walked passed as Bell played six classical pieces.

Two days before this experiment Joshua Bell had played to a packed house in Boston. Tickets had sold for $100 a seat.

His violin, the same one used in the Boston concert and at the Washington Metro station, was valued at $3.5 million.

What happened when this concert violinist, dressed in normal clothes, played unannounced before commuters that Monday morning?

A small handful of people stopped to listen.

When the performance ended there was silence.

No-one applauded.

About twenty people gave money, although the majority who did so dropped coins in the violin case without stopping.

In total he made $32. Yes, $32.

Too often we assume that talent is easy to recognise. It isn’t.

There isn’t always a sign post pointing out where to find creativity.

You can always ignore talent and creativity because you are too busy to stop and listen.

On that busy Monday morning most people missed out on experiencing beauty. Some of the greatest pieces of classical music were played by one of the most talented musicians on the planet, on one of the finest instruments ever made.

But almost everyone missed this. All because the context had been changed.

Which leaves us with a question.

What talent are you overlooking because you are just too busy?

And if your talent is being overlooked, you are in very good company, so don’t take it to heart.

By the way, you can see a time lapse video of the experiment with Joshua Bell here

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Writing: Pure and Simple

Lessons from a senior editor to a junior writer in how to write pure and simple – it’s not just about technical skills, it is also about attitude, focus, and humility.

Teach me how to play golf

Teach me how to play golf

Teach me how
to play golf

Jack Nicklaus was the Rory McIlroy, or Tiger Woods, of his day.

He dominated the golfing world for three decades, with 20 major victories, 71 PGA Tour wins, and the accolade of being one of only five players ever to have won all four major tournaments.

Nicklaus was mentored from 1950 by a man named Jack Grout. Grout was an outstanding teacher. His influence on Nicklaus is beyond calculation.

At the start of each new season Jack Nicklaus would visit Jack Grout to review his game, down to the very basics.

Nicklaus learned the very essence of the game from Grout every year.

Even at the height of his powers, fame, and success, Jack Nicklaus would still ask Jack Grout to teach him how to play golf.

When Jack Nicklaus was on tour, if his game began to dip, he would tap into the knowledge that he had gained from Grout.

But this blog post isn’t really about golf.

Neither is it about the importance of mentors and teachers, although both are vital.

It is about having the right attitude in the face of success and in its absence.

The reason why this story about Jack Nicklaus and Jack Grout never fails to inspire me is because it demonstrates that humility, and being teachable, lay at the heart of Jack Nicklaus’ phenomenal success.

Being at the top of his game, and staying there, meant going back again and again to the very basics of the sport, and doing them over and over again. Round after round, tournament after tournament, year after year.

After he became a giant in his field, Nicklaus was as humble and teachable as when he first began.

Success meant relearning and putting into action the fundamentals, and doing so under the continued tutelage of his first mentor.

One of the greatest players ever to pick up a golf club continually cultivated humility and a teachable spirit.

Why is it then that success so often has the opposite effect?

Whether your area is teaching, marketing, advertising, PR, consulting or sales, sometimes success leaves us thinking that we no longer need to keep learning.

What difference would it make for you and I to adopt Nicklaus’ spirit?

And, by the way, find the best mentors, teachers, and models available.

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Writing: Pure and Simple

Lessons from a senior editor to a junior writer in how to write pure and simple – it’s not just about technical skills, it is also about attitude, focus, and humility.